Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“

From what highth fall’n, so much the stronger prov'd
He with his thunder: and till then who knew
The force of thofe dire arms! yet not for those,
Nor what the potent victor in his rage

95
Can else inflict, do I repent or change,
Though chang'd in outward lustre, that fix'd mind,
And high disdain from sense of injur'd merit,

That

truelis origo,

these words for the other ; and other Nor what the potent vietor in his inftances perhaps may occur in the rage course of this work. Equal ruin hath Can elle infia, do I repent or join'd now, as equal hope join'd be change, &c.) Milton in this fore; somewhat like that in Ovid's and other passages, where he is deMetamorphosis, I. 351., fcribing the fierce and unrelenting O foror, conjux, O fæmina fola to have copied after the picture

fpirit of Satan, seenis very plainly fuperftes, Quam commune mihi genus, et pa- Thus Prometheus speaking of Ju

that Æschylus gives of Prometheus. Deinde torus junxit, nunc ipsa pe

piter. Prom. Vinct. 991. ricula jungunt.

- euπεθω μεν αιθαλεσα φλοξ,

Λευκοπτερω δε νιφαδι, και βegyIn equal ruin cannot answer to in the

Tuari glorious enterprise, because Milton

Χρονιoις κυκατω σανία, και ταplaces a comma after enterprise, and in construction it follows after ha egoeTW, zard, and not after join'd.

Γκαμψει γαρ δεν τον δε μ', σε

tai pegro... Tod. Thyer. 93. He with his thunder:) There is an uncommon beauty in this ex- favorite expreffion of Spenser's.

98. And high disdain) This is a preffion. Satan disdains to utter the name of God, tho' he cannot but Thus in the Fairy Queen, B. 1.

Cant. 1. St. 19. acknowledge his superiority. So again ver. 257

His gall did grate for grief and

high disdain. all but less than he Whom thunder hath made greater. This is the alto sdegno of the Ita

lians, from whom no doubt he 94. yet not for those, had it, Thyer.

105.-- what

[ocr errors]

3

That with the Mightiest rais'd me to contend,
And to the fierce contention brought along
Innumerable force of Spirits arm’d,
That durst dislike his reign, and me preferring,
His utmost pow'r with adverse pow'r oppos'd
In dubious battel on the plains of Heaven,
And shook his throne. What though the field be lost?
All is not lost; th' unconquerable will, 106
And study of revenge, immortal hate,
And courage never to submit or yield,
And what is else not to be overcome

; That glory never shall his wrath or might

IIO Extort from me. To bow and sue for grace With suppliant koee, and deify his

power,

Who 105. What though the field be and if there be any thing else (belojt?

fides the particulars mention'd) All is not loft ; &c.] This passage which is not to be overcome. is an excellent improvement upon

Pearce. Satan's speech to the infernal Spi 110. That glory &c.] That rerits in Tasso, Cant. 4. St. 15. but fers to what went before ; his unseems to be express’d from Fairfax conquerable will and Rudy of revenge, his translation rather than from the his immortal bate and courage never original

to submit or yield, and what befides We lost the field, yet loft we not

is not to be overcome; these Satan

esteems his glory, and that glory our heart.

he says God never should extort 109. And what is else not to be from him. And then begins a new

overcome;] Here Thould be sentence according to all the best no note of interrogation, but only editions, To bow and fue for grace, a semi-colon. The words And what &c--that were low indeed, &c that else not to be overcome signify Et fi ftill referring to what went before; quid fit aliud quod fuperari nequeat, and by observing this punctuation,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

pourrir

f

We may

129

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Who from the terror of this arm fo late
Doubted his empire;, that were low indeed,
That were an ignominy' and shame beneath
This downfall; fince by fate the strength of Gods
And this empyreal substance cannot fail,
Since through experience of this great event

In arms not worse, in foresight much advanc'd,

with more successful hope resolve To wage by force or guile eternal war, Irreconcileable to our grand foe, gv

A Who now triumphs, and in th’excess of joy : BA Sole reigning holds the tyranny of Heaven. So spake th’apostate Angel, though in pain, 125

, Vaunting aloud, but rack'd with deep despair :

And this whole passage, which has per- successfully, notwithstanding the plex'd and confounded so many present triumph of their adversary readers and writers, is renderà in Heaven. plain and easy to be understood.

124.

the

tyranny of Heaven.] 116. - fince by fate &c. ) For The poet speaking in his own perSatan supposes the Angels to fub- son at ver. 42. of the fupremacy fift by fate and necessity, and he of the Deity calls it the throne and represents them of an empyreal, that monarchy of God; but here very art is a fery substance, as the Scrip- fully alters it to the tyranny of Heature itself doth; He maketh his Ån- ven. Thyer. gels Spirits, and his minifters a flame 125. So pake th' apoftate Angel, of fire. Pfal. CIV. 4. Heb. I. 7.

tho' in pain, Satan disdains to submit, since the Vaunting' aloud, but rack'd with Angels (as he says) are necessarily deep despair:) The sense of immortal and cannot be destroy'd, the last verse rises finely above that and fince too they are, now im- of the former : In the first verse it proved in experience, and may is only said, that he spake though it hope to carry on the war more pain. In the last the poet expresses

And him thus answer'd soon his bold compeer.

O Prince, O Chief of many throned Powers, That led th' imbattel'd Seraphim to war Under thy conduct, and in dreadful deeds 130 Fearless, indanger'd Heav'n's perpetual king, And put to proof his high supremacy, Whether upheld by strength, or chance, or fate; Too well I see and rue the dire event, That with fad overthrow and foul defeat

135 Hath loft us Heav'n, and all this mighty host In horrible destruction laid thus low, As far as Gods and heav'nly essences Can perish: for the mind and spi'rit remains Invincible, and vigor foon returns,

140 Though all our glory' extinct, and happy ftate.

Here

a great deal more; for Satan not should remark here the propriety only spake but he vaunted aloud, of the word perpetual. Beelzebub and yet at the same time he was doth not say eternal king, for then not only in pain, but was rack'd he could not have boasted of inwith deep despair. Pearce. dangering his kingdom : but he enThe poet had probably in view devors to detract as much as he this passage of Virgil. An. I. 208. can from God's everlasting domiTalia voce refert; curifque in- nion, and calls him only perpetual gentibus æger

king, king from time immemorial Spem vultu fimulat, premit altum or without interruption, as Ovid corde dolorem.

says perpetuum carmen, Met. I. 4.

-primaque ab origine mundi 131. indanger'd Heav’n's per. Ad mea perpetuum deducite tempetual king, ) The reader pora carinen.

What

Here swallow'd up in endless misery.
But what if he our conqu’ror (whom I now
Of force believe almighty, since no less
Than such could have o'er-pow'r'd such force as ours)
Have left us this our spi'rit and strength entire 146
Strongly to suffer and support our pains,
That we may fó fuffice his vengeful ire,
Or do him mightier service as his thralls
By right of war, whate'er his business be

150
Here in the heart of Hell to work in fire,
Or do his errands in the gloomy deep;
What can it then avail, though yet we feel
Strength undiminish'd, or eternal being
To undergo eternal punishment ?

155 Whereto with speedy words th’ Arch-Fiend reply'd.

Fall'n

What Beelzebub means here is ex. His torments are the torments which press’d more at large afterwards by he hath appointed for us to suffer. Satan, ver. 637

Many instances of this way of

speaking may be found in this But he who reigns poem.

Pearce. Monarch in Heav'n, till then as one fecure

156. Whereto -] To what he Sat on his throne, upheld by old had said laft, which had startled repute,

Satan, and to which he thinks it Consent or custom, &c.

proper to make a speedy reply.

Speedy words are better applied 150. whate'er bis business be] here than 75 mlsesyle are al. The business which God hath ap- ways in Homer. pointed for us to do. So in II. 70.

157,- to

« AnkstesnisTęsti »